You have been asked to think about how you will manage your multiple and remote teams during the next financial year.
Purpose of Assessment
The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to manage multiple and remote teams, improve team performance and recruit staff members.
The assessment comprises a scenario and a number of tasks, each aligned to the assessment criteria of the unit. When completed, these tasks should generate the evidence the Assessor will need to make a judgement on whether the learner has passed the unit.
A Result Sheet is provided at the end of this brief to support Assessors in assessing each assessment criterion and to record the final outcome of the unit
Sylvan Furniture Ltd. is based in the North of England, and aspires to be a market leader in manufacturing furniture. The company focuses on the design, production and sale of garden furniture products to retailers throughout England and Wales. As the Operations Manager for Sylvan Furniture Ltd, you are responsible for managing three teams during a challenging period in your organisation. Based in Sylvan Furniture Ltd.’s factory in Manchester, you work flexible hours to match business needs, and occasionally work off-site. Your responsibilities include setting objectives for your teams, managing their performance to achieve business goals, identifying skills gaps and recruiting new staff when required. There are three experienced team managers to support you in ensuring high performance.
Unfortunately, sales of several existing product lines have declined in the last two years, and annual net profits were recently reported as 30% lower than last year, putting the business and its employees at risk. The Company Directors have considered options to increase sales revenue, and at a recent strategy meeting agreed to focus on four key areas:
Implement recognised strategies to develop high performing teams.
Develop a range of new innovative and eco-friendly products (Design).
Reduce production costs to increase profit margins (Production).
Expand sales of products into a new region - Scotland (Sales).
The Design Team is responsible for designing and developing the furniture products. Their office is based in Sylvan Furniture Ltd.’s factory in Manchester and staff all work regular hours from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. There is a Design Manager and two Product Designers who work closely with the Production Team. The Design Manager uses a democratic management style, as both staff have over 10 years of experience (although neither has designed eco-friendly products).
The Production Team has 10 staff members, and is managed by a Production Manager who has a focus on Health and Safety and a predominantly autocratic management style. The team is responsible for testing the new designs received from the Design Team. Following rigorous testing they finalise the furniture specifications and secure suppliers for the materials required. Once the final furniture ranges are agreed, they prepare the relevant production lines ready for manufacture of the furniture. Furniture is produced to order, with an eight-week lead time. All staff work in rotating shift patterns to maximise production over the 16-hour period that the factory operates each day. Staff work a variety of patterns including: three x 12-hour shifts per week; five x 8-hour shifts per week; and part time hours ranging from 4 to 24 hours per week.
The Sales Team is responsible for promoting and selling the products, and employs six staff. The Sales Manager and three Sales Executives are all home-based (see the organisational chart for locations). Their role involves travelling to existing and prospective customers within their designated region to secure orders. They work closely with two Telesales Representatives who are based in India. Their role is to respond to customer calls, answering questions about the products and closing sales.
You have been asked to think about how you will manage your multiple and remote teams during the next financial year. A key objective for you is to improve current performance to create high performing teams that will help to sustain the business in the future.
The following tasks must be completed:
Task 1: During discussions, both the Design Manager and Sales Manager have expressed concerns that staffing levels are not sufficient to meet the demands in the change of business strategy.
Explain the reasons why these two managers think there is a need for additional staff. Outline the recruitment options that might be considered
Task 2: A decision has been made to recruit one new member of staff and the company’s HR Manager has asked to meet with you. Describe the steps involved in recruiting staff, from identifying this initial need through to the new employee starting work.
Explain how you and your organisation would ensure that the recruitment and selection processes are fair.
Task 3: You have responsibility for managing three diverse teams. Describe at least two challenges that you are likely to face in your role when managing multiple teams.
To address the challenges you have identified, analyse the strategy for each challenge that you could use to manage these teams. You may like to consider roles and accountabilities, structuring of tasks, performance monitoring, team support etc.
Explain how you would monitor and maintain the performance of these three teams, exploring aspects such as quality, efficiency, individual/team performance, adherence to policy/procedure.
For the sales team who work remotely, consider how your approach would differ, by explaining some of the day-to-day management activities that help to maintain the performance of remote teams. Outline what technological tools are available to support remote team working, and explain how at least two of these could be used to overcome the challenges you have identified.
Task 4: The business has a strong focus on developing High Performing Teams. Explain the process you will use to set objectives for the teams, including:
the stages involved, from strategy to individual employee
how you will involve teams and individuals in agreeing objectives
how you will check that objectives are realistic and achievable
Explain how the appraisal process could be used to develop a High Performing Team, including:
the stages involved, and associated documents
at least two techniques for identifying under-performing individuals
how to address under-performance in the workplace using the techniques.
You may like to define what is meant by a ‘High Performing Team’ in your response. Analyse at least three performance management techniques that could be used in Sylvan Furniture Ltd. and make a recommendation, outlining your reasoning.
Task 5: As a result of the new business direction, a key aspect of your management approach will be to encourage the teams to work together effectively.
Explain why collaboration between members of the same team is important. You may like to consider approaches that encourage collaboration and obstacles to successful collaboration.
Explain how individual/team knowledge and expertise could be shared to facilitate high performance.
Task 6: During the year ahead, you anticipate that there will be some significant changes to how people work, and there are already some general learning and development needs identified.
Describe how you will identify the specific skills gaps in individuals, giving examples of development needs that may be identified and how you could address these.
You would also like to take the opportunity to think about implementing a talent management system to ensure that you develop and retain talented individuals. Identify at least two talent management models, and explain how these could be used to identify, develop and retain talented members of staff at Sylvan Furniture Ltd. Include an explanation of how organisational objectives could be met through talent planning and management.
Task 7: It is likely that you will need to delegate to your three managers. Describe a range of approaches that you could use to delegate effectively. (You may like to consider some of the factors involved, and refer to relevant theories to support your points). Explain what can make delegation effective, giving examples to illustrate your ideas.
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